Tough pins, new wind direction at Pinehurst

Phil Mickelson lines up a shot with his caddie Jim Mackay on the second tee during the third round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
Phil Mickelson lines up a shot with his caddie Jim Mackay on the second tee during the third round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. ( Getty Images )

Saturday, June 14, 2014

PINEHURST, N.C. – The field will be challenged early in its third round of the 2014 U.S. Open thanks to an oddity at Pinehurst No. 2.

The USGA decided to set up the par-4 fourth hole longer than the par-5 fifth hole, setting up a potential bogey-birdie situation.

Mother Nature made the situation even tougher, with the wind into the players on No. 4 and downwind on No. 5.

"The wind was a little different today," said Nicholas Lindheim, the first player off the course. "On 4, I had 258 (yards) into the green. On 5, I had 190 (yards) the front edge.

"They definitely could have flip-flopped them. The fourth could play as a par 5."

Asked to identify the birdie opportunities Saturday, Lindheim pointed to the fifth despite its length, the par-4 seventh with the tee up and then the par-5 10th, as the tee was also moved up there.

"That's about it on the back nine," said Lindheim. "Some long, demanding holes with tough pins.

"On 16, I hit my best drive of the week and had 220 (yards) in."

Here is a look at the yardages at Pinehurst No. 2:

Hole, Par, Saturday yardage (difference from scorecard)

No. 1, Par 4, 411 yards (+9 yards)

No. 2, Par 4, 515 yards (+8 yards)

No. 3, Par 4, 394 yards (-8 yards)

No. 4, Par 4, 542 yards (+13 yards)

No. 5, Par 5, 530 yards (-46 yards)

No. 6, Par 3, 224 yards (+9 yards)

No. 7, Par 4, 371 yards (-53 yards)

No. 8, Par 4, 480 yards (-22 yards)

No. 9, Par 3, 198 yards (+7 yards)

Front nine total, Par 35, 3,665 yards (-72 yards)

No. 10, Par 5, 589 yards (-21 yards)

No. 11, Par 4, 486 yards (-16 yards)

No. 12, Par 4, 489 yards (+5 yards)

No. 13, Par 4, 362 yards (-20 yards)

No. 14, Par 4, 479 yards (+6 yards)

No. 15, Par 3, 199 yards (-3 yards)

No. 16, Par 4, 531 yards (+3 yards)

No. 17, Par 3, 186 yards (-19 yards)

No. 18, Par 4, 436 yards (-15 yards)

Back nine total, Par 35, 3,757 yards (-58 yards)

Total, Par 70, 7,422 yards (-130)

Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.